"For Julian, Autism is a diagnosis rather than a statement of limitations."
These words could not be more true for Julian, the motivation behind the business "The Missing Link". As a creative young man, Julian wanted to turn his love for art into a business model. The combination of outstanding computer skills and a love for dinosaurs was all that was needed to bring "The Missing Link" to life. Above all, Julian saw his diagnosis as only a challenge; he did not use it as an excuse or a limitation.
Julian's colorful designs were brought to life, and his designs can be found (for purchase!) in his online store. "The Missing Link" sells t-shirts, mugs, and posters (among other things) all displaying Julian's many talents. To help raise awareness for autism in the community, Julian's business will also be offering a scholarship to help another young man or woman reach their full potential. (More information for the scholarship can be found at www.juliansmissinglink.com)
I had the chance to interview Julian, and could not be more impressed with the amount of energy and passion he had not only for his business, but for dinosaurs as well:
-What does Julian like most about dinosaurs that made him make the switch from cows and elephants?
"Well, that answer's pretty simple- because they were known for cinematic movies like Jurassic Park, Carnosaur, and The Valley of Gwangi, and that is why for 65 million years, dinosaurs have been the Hollywood signs of fear. Perhaps any one would do, as long as it doesn’t have Michael Bay explosions."
I think we could all agree with Julian here; Jurassic Park just wouldn't be the same if it were a park full of cows or elephants rather than dinosaurs..
-Where did Julian's love for art/video production come from?
"Well it’s a simple answer; I got more advanced ever since I was in my junior and senior years of high school, and ever since I graduated it’s new and improved."
Just take a look at some of Julian's art, and you can see exactly what he is talking about.
-Was there one particular day/moment where you guys decided it was the perfect time to start "The Missing Link"?
"First of all, we don’t use the "p-word" in our business (right on, Julian!) because it's overrated. Designing all these dinosaurs isn’t just fun and games, it's hard work. Despite the odds, we automatically started our own business.
Although Julian deserves a huge amount of credit, his mother has also been a huge part in the creation of "The Missing Link".
-How did the idea of a scholarship come about? (Awesome idea by the way!)
"Well, basically it doesn’t need an introduction. Here in Salem (Massachusetts), we're not gonna rely on just one lone dinosaur nutjob in America; were gonna rely on all the dinosaur nutjobs in the world! Ultimately, I just wanted to help other people achieve their dreams, so they could become a reality."
Trust me Julian, there are plenty of dinosaur nutjobs in the world. The idea of a scholarship to help another young man or woman with autism achieve something like you have is extremely admirable.
-Lastly, what is Julian's favorite dinosaur (if any) and why?
"I'm gonna say velociraptor. Due to popularity in Jurassic Park, it (the velociraptor) has been well known. So basically, velociraptors don’t need an introduction. Oh, and ever since I've seen Jurassic World, I did compare the four raptors (Delta, Echo, Charlie, and Blue) to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For example, I compared Charlie to Mikey, Echo to Raf, Delta to Donnie, and of course, Blue to Leo. So I thought this would be kinda cool if we had a Ninja Turtles crossover with Jurassic World.
I told you Julian was creative, didn't I?
For more information on Julian, his scholarship opportunity, or to buy one of his awesome products, visit www.juliansmissinglink.com and give him a like on Facebook (@JuliansMissingLink).
Keep up the great work Julian!